Saturday, September 25, 2010

Kadhalan (1994) Tamil dir. Shankar

    October 1st is fast approaching and the much awaited , much hyped Shankar film, Endhiran, starring the Tamil Super Star Rajinikanth and Bollywood siren Aishwarya Bachchan will hit theaters world wide. Here in Minneapolis we will get all three versions of the movie, the Tamil Endhiran, Telugu dubbed Robo and the Hindi dubbed and subbed Robot. As much fun as it would be to see the original Tamil version in a packed Rajinikanth worshipping theater, I will be going to the Hindi version as it is for some reason much cheaper ($10.00 vs.$25.00) and it has subtitles.
    I am looking forward to it because Shankar's movies are known to have high production values and he has experimented with CGI effects in all his movies. Endhiran is supposed to have had the biggest budget of any Indian film to date and judging by the trailers I can see why. Oh Yeah, It's gonna be a spectacle alright! Take a look at this!

  Now I have only seen one other Shankar movie (Boys 2003), so I thought it would be a good idea to watch another one of his movies to get me in the right frame of mind while I wait for Endhiran's release. I thought Kadhalan, starring Prabhu Deva, would be a great movie to start with. It was only Shankar's second film but the movie and the music by A. R. Rahman was a huge hit.

Prabhu Deva plays Prabhu, the son of a police officer who is the student leader at the college he attends.  His friend, played by comic actor Vadivelu, teases him about why he shows no interest in girls. But Prabhu is convinced that the girl of his dreams is out there and he will recognize her immediately upon seeing her.
When Prabhu goes to ask a powerfull Politician to give a speech at his college, he literally runs into his daughter Shruti played by Nagma. Of course she is the girl he has seen in his dreams, so he begins his quest to get her attention.

Now that is one way to get a girls attention!
 Unfortunetly all of his attempts to woo her fail. His friends insist he is way out of his league and he ends up insulting her when and he and  Vadivelu join her Bharathanatiyam dance class. Heart broken he confides in his Father, who I would like to nominate as the best most understanding filmy Dad ever. He even digs through garbage to find a dress hook his son had saved and cherished!

 His Father encourages him to learn Bharathanatiyam dance in order to impress her. He works hard and in a very short time he has mastered it. He sneeks into her house and dances for her then proclaims his love. She of course then  begins to notice him (what girl wouldn't?) and soon finds herself falling in love too.

Now we come to find out that Shruti's father is behind a series of bombings. He hires an assassin played by Raghuvaran (he is rocking the 90's mullet) to bomb a temple. It happens to be the very temple his daughter is supposed to do a dance performance at. He forbids her to go but she runs away with Prabhu so she can perform in the dance. Her Dad sends in the Army to get her and has Prabhu arrested and tries to get him framed for the bombings.
Now lets take a moment and reflect on the two Dads in this film.
We have the World's Best Dad.

                                                 And the World's Worst Dad Ever!
Shruti's Father has Prabhu tortured in prison. And even tricks his father into beating him.

Shruti locks herself in a rundown building and refuses to eat until Prabhu is released. It is her embarassing behavior at a party that finally convinces her Dad to let Prabhu go.

Now that Prabhu is free all he has to do is stop Raghuvaran, unveil Shruti's Dad as the real villain, find Shruti, who has been sent to her Grandparents and find the bomb, all without getting killed first.
Well, he is the Hero after-all so you know he is going to manage it all just fine. Raguvaran and the evil Dad meet a fitting end. And he finds Shruti with the help of her Grandparents. And of course the bomb is disposed of properly.

A.R Rahman's soundtrack established him as a force to be reckoned with and of course Prabhu Deva's dancing was groundbreaking. I love the two most well known songs, Urvasi Urvasi and Mukkala (love the Good the Bad and the Ugly homage in that one)

I also like Ennavale Ennavale because it shows the Special effects you expect in a Shankar film.

I also like this fun number.
Eerani Kuradhani Gopala

I thought Kadhalan was great fun. I have really enjoyed the two Shankar films I ahve seen so far. After Endhiran I think I'll move Jeans up my queue and try that one next!

As an Addendum to this post, I decided that since Prakash Raj is in about every third movie I watch it is only fitting he be mentioned in about every third of my blog posts. He's overdue for a mention here so I thought it would be a great opportunity to tell you all about my friend DustDevil Liz's awesome new blog: My year with Prakash Raj Be sure to check it out for all the Prakash Awesome you crave.


  1. Cool post Jill!!

    Right now I would only be able to afford to go to the Hindi version too by the way, the Tamil one is so expensive. Anyway, looking forward to your upcoming review of the movie. (And please excuse the forum link in my name here, I don't have a Twitter account and my Facebook is private and just for friends so I didn't know what to link to!! Haha.)

  2. why hello there jjake! I'm a bit late to the blog party you have here- so excited to see all of these lovely southie blogs. :)

    And Kadhalan- what a film eh? The virginity test cap had me cringing- I don't know if that or the ants were the worst part of the film, haha.

    Would you believe I bought it because I thought it was all about Bharatanatyam? Surprise! haha.

    Looks forward to enjoying your posts!

  3. Thanks for visiting Gauri and Minaiminai!
    Yes the virginity test is a new low in parenting and the ant torture was also sad, but over all I thought Prabhu was kind of Macguyveresque in his abilities, breaking into her house, dancing her portrait in chalk, finding food and then figuring out away to escape from the car trunk just using he mastered baratanatyam in a matter of weeks! :-)

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  5. Preethi, Thanks for the info on your blog too! I'll link it to mine.


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